- Teko Modise has called on South African soccer fans to be more supportive of booed players
- His comments come in the aftermath of Orlando Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza near meltdown in a match against Black Leopards last week
- Modise seemed to support Irvin Khoza’s decision to employ a psychologist to assist Gabuza
Cape Town City midfielder Teko Modise has called on South African soccer fans and clubs to be more supportive of booed players. Modise spoke in the aftermath of Orlando Pirates star striker Thamsanqa Gabuza’s near meltdown during a match against Black Leopards last week.
Modise said the phenomenon where fans openly jeered and booed players needed to end sooner rather than later. He said if the problem continued to be ignored as it currently was it would grow into a massive problem.
Modise said while he did not condone or agree with Gabuza’s action he understood what the striker went through. Modise said not all players had the mental strength to deal with the pressure which came with playing for certain clubs.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Modise said that often time’s players did not have access to support systems to help them cope when things became tough.
SowetanLive.co.za reported that Modise added that ordinary people had no idea about the pressure which came with playing for a club like Orlando Pirates and other high-profile clubs in the country.
Modise said that unlike when an ordinary person starts getting stressed out and goes to see a psychologist, professional footballers often did not have that luxury.
Modise called on South African football fans to start supporting under-fire players rather than trying to break them down even further. He said this moment in time should be used to forge a new supportive culture in football.
Meanwhile, the PSL has confirmed that it viewed the entire incident as an internal Orlando Pirates matter and would not interfere. The PSL said the on-field punishment metered out by the referee (two yellow cards) was the correct course of action.
Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza confirmed last week that he would employ a psychologist to assess and assist Gabuza. Khoza said while he did not condone the incident he could not simply abandon Gabuza.
Khoza described Gabuza as a special player who deserved to be helped if he needed it. The club is conducting an internal investigation into the incident in which Gabuza stormed off the field last week after taking off his jersey and gesturing to the crowd.
The incident has drawn criticism from all corners but has also raised the important issue around the mental health of professional footballers.
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